Generating Design with Value: Educating the Disgner of the 21st Century

Lisa Scharoun, Stephen O'Connor

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


    ‘Modern design education,’ explains Michael Bierut of Pentagram, ‘is essentially value-free: every problem has a purely visual solution that exists outside any cultural context’ (Bierut, 2012). Graphic Design education is often structured around two common themes: the introduction of technological skill sets for production and the broad stylistic skills needed for a solid portfolio of work. These two streams, whilst essential in the education of a designer, often ignore the element of wider design thinking skills that are the key to the development of a successful design practitioner. Creative problem solving has always been the focus of design schools, however this method is often narrowly applied to the confines of a specific outcome: the design of a product, packaging, or logo-type to suit a particular client or style. Design Thinking, by contrast, is a methodology that expands the creative thinking process beyond the traditional constraints and challenges the designer to shift their thinking from the specific problem to the wider task at hand. ‘The problems that challenged designers in the twentieth century – crafting a new object, creating a new logo are simply not the problems that will define the twenty-first,’ explains Design Thinking guru Tim Brown (2009, p.37). In the recently revised Bachelor of Graphic Design at the University of Canberra, our projects are designed around creating value in the evolving social landscape of Australia, equipping students with the knowledge and foresight to solve current and emerging design problems. This paper will outline the techniques and projects utilized in the program at UC to facilitate design thinking.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRegion and Isolation: The changing function of art & design education within diasporic cultures and borderlass communities : Proceedings of the 2012 Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Annual Conference
    EditorsClive Barstow, Digby de Bruin, Julian Goddard
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherAustralian Council of University Art and Design Schools
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)9780975836088
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventACUADS 2012 - Region and Isolation: The Changing Function of Art and Design Education within Diasporic Cultures and Borderless Communities - Central Institute of Technology, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
    Duration: 3 Oct 20125 Oct 2012


    ConferenceACUADS 2012 - Region and Isolation
    Abbreviated titleACUADS 2012
    OtherIt is with great pleasure that we present the collected papers of the 2012 Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools conference. The 2012 conference was jointly hosted by Central Institute of Technology, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University.

    The title of the 2012 conference was ‘Region and Isolation’, suggesting a theme that we feel is particularly pertinent to current trends in art and design education. For some, the Twenty-first century is proving to be an era of unprecedented freedom; travel and migration have never been easier. The tribulations of geographic distance are, to a great extent, a thing of the past; increasingly sophisticated technologies enable us to stay in touch, even when far from home. And yet, for many others, remoteness and isolation remain a daily reality. The vexed issue of Globalisation presents both challenges and opportunities for art and design educators. While isolation, geographic or otherwise, may often be seen as detrimental to art education and culture, it is important to recognise the possibilities inherent in regionalism: seclusion has the capability of fostering unique and vital cultural identities. Conversely, it is the job of art and design education to ensure that creative cultures are identified, maintained and encouraged in the face of Diaspora and migration. Whether located within a borderless, globally integrated community or operating out of a more remote region, educators must identify strategies for turning their situation into a virtue.

    Many of this year’s papers examine the ways in which tertiary art and design schools are changing or need to change in order to deal with the global realities of the Twenty-first century. Over the course of our three-day program we were also delighted to feature papers that considered educational strategies and techniques in a broader context, as well as presenting a wide range of research reflecting the diverse interests and practices of our sector
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